- NAACP: Detroit water shutoffs are racially motivated
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Big milestone for Britain’s little Prince George who turns 1
- Murphy: Israel must be wary of Hamas using civilian deaths for recruitment
- Royce: Putin recruiting ‘every skinhead and malcontent around Russia’
- Nancy Pelosi is adamant: Congress worked together when Bush was president
- ‘Slender Man’ stabbing victim receives Purple Heart from anonymous veteran
- Kentucky city called socialist for buying gas station, undercutting competitor fuel prices
- Israel hits five mosques, sports complex in overnight Gaza strikes
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters’ questions on book tour
Rivals looking to chip away at Romney in N.H.
Question of the Day
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — With Mitt Romney the overwhelming favorite, his five Republican opponents hoped to chip away at his lead in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and finish well enough to prove they’re still in the race to challenge him again in South Carolina and Florida.
A narrower than expected win for Romney in the nation’s first presidential primary — or a surprisingly strong finish from one of his rivals — could weaken the front-runner. Either would be played up as more evidence that Republicans still have their doubts about Romney, who barely squeezed out a win in the Iowa caucuses.
Those doubts were on display in the first ballots cast in the contest, in Dixville Notch, the tiny New Hampshire village that traditionally votes at midnight. Romney and Jon Huntsman each received two of the six votes; Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul received one vote apiece.
“Dixville Notch might be a harbinger in this race,” Huntsman, a former Utah governor who skipped Iowa to pin his hopes on a decent showing in New Hampshire, said early Tuesday.
The rest of New Hampshire voters go to the polls Tuesday after receiving months of attention from the Republican candidates and witnessing an increasingly sharp tone in the intraparty struggle for the nomination.
Romney suffered an ill-timed, foot-in-mouth moment the day before — declaring he liked to be able to fire people — and his rivals were quick to pounce. But they pulled back from their attacks Tuesday, noting that Romney’s clumsy quote actually referred to peoples’ right to ditch their health care companies for better ones.
The candidates seemed eager to present a kinder face to voters finally heading to the polls.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used Romney’s comments on Monday to leverage his criticism of the GOP front-runner as a former corporate raider who enriched himself by looting companies and laying off workers. On Tuesday, he said it was “totally unfair” to take Romney’s remark out of its health care context and he wouldn’t do so.
A former governor of neighboring Massachusetts who owns a vacation home in New Hampshire, Romney has long enjoyed a substantial lead in the polls here.
“If I am president of the United States, I will not forget New Hampshire,” Romney said during a Monday night rally in Bedford, hinting at the impact of Tuesday’s contest while surrounded on by his wife, children and grandchildren.
None of Romney’s rivals has proved to be a consistent and credible threat to the former Massachusetts governor. The latest to emerge from the pack is Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who used a passion for social conservatism and a populist economic message to come within eight votes of Romney in Iowa’s caucuses.
In New Hampshire, “second place would be a dream come true,” Santorum said Monday as he raced through a campaign schedule that spanned more than 14 hours.
New Hampshire, which allows independents to vote in its primary, will help decide whether a candidate with Santorum’s focus can appeal to a broader electorate, as would be required in a successful general election. On the other side, Huntsman is relying upon independents and moderate Republicans to fuel a late surge to relevancy.
A former ambassador to China in the Obama administration, Huntsman spent the last 48 hours trying to capitalize on a notable debate exchange with Romney. A relentless critic of President Barack Obama, Romney had criticized Huntsman for serving as an ambassador in the Obama administration. Huntsman countered that he had put his country ahead of partisan politics.
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Obamacare dealt massive setback by federal appeals court
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters' questions on book tour
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq